NEW YORK -- The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.
James ranked first in the Eastern Conference in assists (10.3 apg), third in scoring (27.5 ppg) and eighth in rebounding (8.2 rpg) as the Cavaliers went 9-5 in December. He also tied for second in the East in steals with 1.93 per game. The four-time Kia NBA MVP finished second in the East with nine double-doubles and recorded a conference-best five triple-doubles, including three straight from Dec. 14-17 to tie his career-long streak set in March 2009. He notched at least 20 points in 13 of 14 games and recorded five games with 30 or more points. The 33-year-old forward tallied at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists 11 times.
Westbrook averaged a triple-double of 27.8 points (fourth in the NBA), 10.6 assists (tops in the NBA) and 10.2 rebounds (fourth in the West) as the Thunder went 12-5 for the month, including wins over the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. The 29-year-old guard posted six triple-doubles to improve his league-leading total to 12. He shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in seven of his last nine games for the month. On Dec. 22, Westbrook’s game-winning three-pointer capped a 30-point, 15-assist performance in a 120-117 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Here are additional highlights for James and Westbrook in December:
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Dec. 9 vs. Philadelphia: Posted 30 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in a 105-98 win over the 76ers.
Dec. 16 vs. Utah: Finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 109-100 victory against the Jazz.
Dec. 21 vs. Chicago: Contributed 34 points, nine assists and six rebounds in a 115-112 win over the Bulls.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Dec. 5 vs. Utah: Scored 34 points, handed out 14 assists and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 100-94 win over the Jazz.
Dec. 15 @ Philadelphia: Finished with 27 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists in a 119-117 triple-overtime victory against the 76ers.
Dec. 27 vs. Toronto: Recorded 30 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds in a 124-107 win over the Raptors.
Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Kyrie Irving, Golden State’s Kevin Durant, Houston’s James Harden, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler, New Orleans’ DeMarcus Cousins, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.